This Time Tomorrow
I am between the yellow line and the green dotted line. 1637 miles to Mumbai 2871 from London 37, 000 miles to sea level
In the dimmed cabin, seatbelt and cigarette signs like symmetrical constellations, with the glow of purple LED lights from the bordering premium economy cabin, a small monitor inches from my eyes tells that the plane is somewhere above the Black Sea. The plane is slowly inching from the fringes of eastern Europe towards Asia and the Middle East, the topographic airline map provides a sturdy, solid yellow line for its already covered route and a more hesitant, dotted lime green line for the trajectory of the remaining 3 hours and 42 minutes of our flight to Mumbai. This map would have me believe that I am here, in this cabin, in this brown upholstered seat, between the yellow solid and green dotted, between the illustrated wings of the plane icon.
I turn off the monitor. Left without its colorful glare, the task of locating myself grows more difficult. Time has melted into a less and less tangible measurement in the recent hours of travel and in the past week of transition. At the end of a school year, in the first week of summer I have left pieces behind, left a trail of possible answers.
I am trudging up the steps of my dorm, tackling each step one at a time with an overflowing backpack and 90 degree weather the weekend before finals.
I am hopping up the same stairs after my last final, I am unleashing 'All Along the Watchtower' into the newly turned summer air, as I pack my room. I am always surprised by the appearance of my clothes, books, speakers, everything packed away. Hidden behind the film of a sloppily packed black suitcase or a grey garbage bag film they do not seem like parts that can sum to an existence away from home.
I am walking the familiar hallways of my old school alone one week ago, I am hugging old friends, hugging old teachers, trying to suffocate a year's distance in a single embrace.
I am in Boston, frantically looping from store to store, feeling like maybe I should just sit down and think instead of chasing after those last items. That maybe I should find some chocolate and find a corner and call my best friend or my grandmother and tell them that I miss them.
Jet-lagged, sitting here I ask myself, was that today or yesterday? What day is it? Were those memories, that laughter, that meal, this year or last year? And though it is confusing as high school, as eleventh grade, as the first week of summer vacation float by me, feeling I cannot quite grasp them, some of the pieces left behind are good.
Left behind, months of adjustment to a new school.
Left behind, loneliness and reservation.
Left behind, if momentarily, worries about college applications.
But, left behind friends distancing with months.
I am half-way, in-between the yellow line and the dotted green. Sitting in Heathrow, gazing, daydreaming into the gloss of Harrod's and Burberry. Teachers, briefing us on our schedule with various NGOs, are adorned by crowns of Cartier billboards and neon halos of Hermés signs. And I wonder, with a suitcase full of new clothes wondering what I will see in the coming three weeks. And wondering how I can sit here with Pedagogy of the Oppressed in a blue binder on my lap, and still stare endlessly into the shining eyes of those beautiful advertisements.